Last Update: 9/28/05 (Transmittal I-2-65)
An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) may revise a final determination or ALJ decision after the time period for reopening expires if, before the time period expires, the ALJ or any other employee of the Social Security Administration (SSA) begins an investigation (i.e., begins gathering facts) into whether to revise such determination or decision, and diligently pursues the investigation to its conclusion. An ALJ or other SSA employee may begin such investigation on his or her own initiative or on a claimant's request.
“Diligent pursuit” of an investigation means that in light of the facts and circumstances of a particular case, the ALJ or other SSA employee undertook an investigation and carried out the necessary action as promptly as the circumstances permitted.
An ALJ will presume that “diligent pursuit” exists if the ALJ or another SSA employee completes an investigation into whether to revise a determination or decision, and the ALJ revises such determination or decision within 6 months from the date the investigation was begun.
If an ALJ or another SSA employee diligently pursued an investigation to its conclusion, the ALJ has the authority to revise the determination or decision. The revised determination or decision may be favorable or unfavorable to the claimant.
If an ALJ or another SSA employee did not diligently pursue an investigation to its conclusion, the ALJ has the authority to revise the determination or decision only if the revised determination or decision is favorable to the claimant.